Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wreck of 200-year-old British warship found
Archaeologists have hailed the discovery of a sunken British warship which vanished during the American War of Independence. In what is being described as one of the most significant maritime finds ever made in North America, the wreck of HMS Ontario was discovered almost intact in deep water at the bottom of Lake Ontario.

After 228 years, the ship's final resting place was pinpointed by enthusiasts Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville. The 22-gun warship went down during a severe gale in 1780 with 120 people on board. The mystery of its fate spawned a host of rumours, including the possibility of it carrying priceless war booty.

I remember seeing a blurb on TV about this recently. Because of the anoxic water at depth and the lack of wood boring worms, wrecks in parts of the Great Lakes can be beautifully preserved. One would expect the interior would be similarly intact (i.e., human remains and other stuff).

I also found it interesting that it was declared property of Britain. Maybe that's just a consequence of it being a warship.